David Wray

AdaptingOvercoming AdversityOvercoming IsolationWellbeing

Social Distancing Wearing You Down?

Vector credit: Vecteezy – Social Distancing

Social Distancing – Setting the Stage

I should acknowledge that I don’t actually like the term social distancing, physical distancing is a better description is what is currently required throughout the world. You might wonder why I appear to be splitting hairs with words. Simple, they are very powerful.

Words can evoke emotions and reactions in most people which sets the stage for our discussion.

Think about the following words and the emotions they may raise in you.

The Power of Words

Humans are social beings needing connections and relationships for wellbeing. The physical and mental health ill-effects of poor or absent social interactions are well documented. Making it easy to understand why the current lockdowns can adversely affect so many. Physical distancing does not necessarily have to mean social isolation. For example, working from home can bring many positives – cost savings from less transportation and fewer big lunches out (weight management too). However, it can also produce some negatives – challenges with self-motivation and loneliness (or exacerbating relationship issues at home). Let’s dive in and see how to stay ahead…

What and how can you do it?

There are many techniques that will help you better cope with physical distancing in the months ahead. We start by acknowledging that what is happening around us is not something that any one of us can control BUT we can control how we are reacting to. Previous blogs sharing ways of defining a new normal or getting through negative things are a helpful starting point.

In addition, there are other creative ways to staying socially connected in a physically isolated environment (thankfully just temporarily so).

Staying Socially Connected

The options are infinite, thanks in large part to technology, but not everyone has access to these tools. In those cases, consider more creative options.

For example, elderly relatives in care homes are impossible to see at the moment (in order to shield the most vulnerable group of people from this insidious virus).

You can, however, stay connected – many care homes have large windows through which you can see, speak and simulate touch on the window (hand to hand, for example). A dutch care facility has built special purpose visiting cabins that allow family members to safely visit dementia residents. The response to such creativity is overwhelmingly positive!

These solutions, while imperfect, go a long way to maintaining the social connections we all need until we can once again spend time in each other’s company. Laughing, crying, hugging, talking and looking back on this time as the moment that woke us to the social inequities Covid19 brings to light!

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